In December 2016, I volunteered with non-profit, NetHope, in 14 refugee camps across Greece where I met countless Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan refugees. The individuals I met were good people who want nothing more but a place to call home and live in peace. They travelled thousands of miles, escaping Bashar Al Assad’s violent regime, ISIS, the Taliban or religious persecution.
The refugees extended warm hospitality, inviting me into their tents, sharing arabic coffee and rations. They shared stories of their homes being bombed, relatives killed, deadly sea crossings from Turkey to the Greek Islands, and arduous journeys from their native countries. I was deeply moved and saddened by the situation they’ve been forced into. Their stories will be burned into my memory forever.
On February 4th, I attended the No Ban No Wall protest in SF Civic Center. It was a rally cry against the executive order to ban all immigrants and refugees from 7 Muslim majority nations. Refugees and children of refugees shared their powerful stories of journeys from their home countries to living in America.
At one point the MC shouted “Show me what democracy looks like!” To which crowd from all walks of life responded, “This is what democracy looks like!”
Yemeni immigrants waved their nation's flag while the daughter of an Iranian refugee reads a poem.
I am disgusted by Trump’s executive order. Discriminating entry into the United States based on religion, gender, or race is deplorable, unlawful and unconstitutional. In retaliation, we must do all we can to serve those fleeing war, poverty and persecution.
These drawings are dedicated to my Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan friends overseas.